I strongly disagree with Yoni Goldstein’s column about the recent Israel and Hezbollah prisoner swap (“Upholding the contract,” CJN, July 31). I have the utmost sympathy for the families of the two dead soldiers, but to liberate a cold-blooded murderer was a big mistake. Now that the terrorists have learned that only dead bodies have to be returned, they will do just that. What about the feelings of the family whose members were murdered? What pain did they feel after learning that the killer would walk free and celebrate. This deal was a very wrong political and strategic decision by Israel’s government.
Israel gets ‘amber’ light to attack Iran
Israel has the “amber” light from the United States to launch a strike on Iran, according to a source in the Pentagon. In a recent report, it was stated that President George W. Bush has given Israel conditional approval for an attack. The unconfirmed report acknowledged that the approval came despite of opposition among top brass in the U.S. armed forces and American worries over the political and economic consequences that such an attack would carry. This means get on with your preparations, stand by for immediate attack and tell us when you’re ready, but you (Israel) will not be able to count on U.S. military support for the strike.
The official said that the Israeli Air Force would not be permitted to refuel at American air bases in Iraq. The official also said the Bush administration would not attack Iran. It looks as if the United States expects Israel to take on the Iranian threat single-handedly, despite the global nature of the threat.
The world is afraid of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and all are afraid to act. Is that due to Iran’s oil reserves or Iran’s missiles? Will the fate of the West once again rely on tiny Israel’s intelligence and its air force to destroy a nuclear menace?
Jerusalem and peace talks
In “Renewed peace talks must start with Jerusalem,” (CJN Perspectives, July 17), Yitzhak Reiter makes no mention of the terrible tragedy in human terms that is a consequence of the Oslo accords. He treats the problem of achieving peace academically and selectively. The “sense of euphoria” that accompanied the signing of the Oslo accords was not shared by even one military or security expert. Even Shimon Peres, one of the main architects of Oslo, acknowledged then that human “sacrifices for peace” were inevitable. If smaller concessions have encouraged the Palestinians to wage a destructive war of terror against the Jewish state, how much more so would the major concessions that Reiter speaks of?
Reiter’s suggestions would evoke a “sense of euphoria” among our enemies in their certainty that total victory is within reach, terror is effective and justifiable, and the Jewish state is in its death throes.
Moral degeneration of terrorists
Body counts and the number of prisoners held is not a measure of any conflict (“Israel, Hezbollah reach prisoner swap,” CJN, July 3). That is like saying that Canada is bad because we have more murderers in our prisons than policemen. Israel is a country, and one of the oldest in the United Nations. It has legitimate rights and obligations under international law. It is obligated to defend its citizens from non-governmental groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, all recognized as terrorist organizations by the civilized world. That Lebanon, under Iranian/Syrian control, occupied by Hezbollah and the 12 Palestinian enclaves, celebrated the return of a child killer speaks to their moral degeneration.
Human rights commissions
I am aware of the controversy currently brewing regarding human rights commissions and their role in today’s society, and it is apparent to me that the noble ideas that led to the founding of these commissions have been usurped by cynical individuals with social agendas (“The limits of freedom of speech,” CJN, July 17). At this point, human rights commissions are harming our society far more than they are helping. They are also not needed now in the way that they might have been 40 years ago. I do not believe the human rights commissions system can be saved, because the potential for its abuse seems to be infinite, and more examples of this abuse pop up every day. The human rights commissions system needs to be dismantled. Canadian Jewish Congress leaders are on the wrong side in this battle.
Agudas Hamishpocha luncheon
The Agudas Hamishpocha, the United Families Organization, was founded in Toronto in 1928 by members of the Rubinoff, Naftolin, Arnoff, Edson, Rubin, Sloven and related families as a means of keeping the family together. Many descendants will attend an 80th anniversary luncheon on Aug. 17 at Beth David B’nai Israel Beth Am Synagogue in Toronto. To request an invitation, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.